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Cleveland nonprofit Joseph House gives new bikes to Afghan refugees

Cleveland nonprofit Joseph House gives new bikes to Afghan refugees

CLEVELAND, Ohio — A new initiative by Joseph House , a nonprofit partnership of four Catholic churches in the Diocese of Cleveland, is aiming to…

Wednesday, Mar 23

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CLEVELAND, Ohio — A new initiative by Joseph House , a nonprofit partnership of four Catholic churches in the Diocese of Cleveland, is aiming to help Afghan refugees as they settle into their new lives in Northeast Ohio.

More than 800 refugees arrived in Ohio last year after U.S. military forces withdrew from Afghanistan and the Taliban regained power. Many of them settled in the Cleveland area .

Bikes were a highly requested item among the newly-arrived refugees, said Marty Frame, a volunteer for Joseph House. The partnership includes the Cleveland churches St. Vitus, Immaculate Conception and St. Paul Croatian, as well as Divine Word Catholic Church in Willoughby.

“The men asked for bikes to assist them with transportation to and from work. The women requested sewing machines,” Frame said.

The organization easily found sewing machines for the women through word of mouth and Nextdoor, a social networking service for neighborhoods, but it struggled to find adult bikes for the men.

After sending letters to more than 25 bike shops in the area, the Ohio City Bicycle Co-op on Cleveland’s West Side helped Joseph House get one step closer to its goal, Frame said.

“My husband and I met with Jim [Ohio City Bicycle Co-op’s Executive Director] and David Hull, one of their board members. Our request came at an opportune time as they were looking to expand services to underserved populations,” she said.Instead of just offering to donate the bikes, the Co-op offered to fit each bike to its intended recipient and make […]

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